White Egret's Web Log
Sun 12 Nov 2006 07:25
We may not be the most nimble but we have 186 years of street wisdom to compensate. We understand mechanical advantage, the value of a cup of tea, which bit of string to pull (most of the time), how to improvise and the need for a good square meal.
Owner/skipper with a vested interest in arriving on the other side with the boat intact and with no outstanding litigation from the crew. Sailed dinghies and a small cabin cruiser in the 1960s with Brian, mostly ending up with a wet bum or up to our waists in mud. Retired mathematician, Christmas postman, venture capitalist and computer salesman. White Egret is his third Malo yacht and has already survived Hurricane Ivan. Second westward crossing but first on his own boat.
Deckmaster and Medical Officer. Lives in Sark but keeps his boat in the Med. Dragoons Michael and Steve in for crew in exotic places like Sicily, Malta and Corsica. Pretends to be retired but often goes into intensive mobile phone mode when in sight of land. Going to be a tough passage for him with twenty days off the net! At least he won't be swimming in mid Ocean so he will save money on waterlogged hearing aids.
Ship's Purser and Radio Operator. Retired (reformato) hotelier and chef. He will in future be responsible for tying his own fishing hooks on. A dedicated man who has arranged for frozen lamb shanks to be air freighted to Tenerife for the mid Atlantic banquet (if God spares us). He is also responsible for ship's entertainment. A seasoned sailor having been a skipper with the dodgem fleet of sail trainers out of the Solent. Life's ambition is to catch and cook an African Pompano fish.
Ship's Engineer. Brian lives and works in Perth Australia and races on the Swan River with the grown ups. He is worried about the Atlantic trade crossing being cold so he has been issued with gift-wrapped Musto long johns. Has many engineering accomplishments from changing fan belts at sea (and on the Champs d'Elysees) to adapting the rotor arm from a Bedford van to fit an Alfa Romeo. He can exist for weeks on a diet of Complan and custard.
We will operate a system of four 3 hour watches in daylight (6 'til 6) and six 2 hour watches in the night hours. There will be a single watchkeeper with the next on-watch as standby.
The main meal will be taken around 3pm. Breakfast and evening meals (if required) are on a do-it -yourself basis. A night starvation box is available in the cockpit to keep up the blood sugar during night watches. Unfortunately the 4 kilos of liquorice allsorts stowed for the passage got eaten on the way down from Portugal.